For the writer [of Hebrews] the weekly Sabbath is an eschatological sign, grounded in creation and continuing under the new covenant until the consummation.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., “A Sabbath Rest Still Awaits the People of God” in Pressing Toward the Mark, p. 47).

But God’s rest is not just a parenthesis in the workweek for the good of the body. It carries a much deeper significance. God did not rest to recover from exhaustion, nor is his rest defined simply as the absence of work. In his rest, God is reveling in the goodness of his creation, and especially in the goodness of fellowship with those he created in his own image. God’s rest is not an abstract principle that does not touch the lives of his chosen people. God gives Moses a blessing that he is to teach to Aaron and his sons: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace’ (Num. 6:24-26). This blessing shows that the peace and rest experienced by the people is the peace that comes because God is with them, among them, loving and caring for them. The blessing is God’s presence, God’s rest. The Sabbath marks the fact that God delights in the presence of his people. Of course, God’s rest in creation is not the end of the story, just as the Israelites did not find true rest in their desert wanderings. The rest to which the Sabbath points is not only rest from the tyranny of Egypt but the rest they will know in having a true home, a land of their own, where they can live in peace and in the presence of God. God brought them out of Egypt to the Promised Land, their land of rest.” (Edmund P. Clowney, How Jesus Transforms the Ten Commandments, pp. 54-55).

Quotes used in the reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

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